"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

All About Reece’s Rainbow

A few months ago, I posted about meeting some of our heroes!  I have another hero that I would love to meet one day – Andrea Roberts, the founder of Reece’s Rainbow.

Reeces Rainbow

10 years ago, Andrea and her husband gave birth to their first born son and they received news that rocked them – their new baby boy had been born with Down Syndrome.  They were caught completely unaware and unprepared.

Andrea shares on the Reece’s Rainbow website:

“The life we had envisioned for ourselves and our first-born-son was turned completely upside down, and we felt very much alone.  We were so blessed to find help through the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta and Parent-to-Parent of Georgia.  Our faith that God had given Reece to us, and us to Reece, for a purpose, carried us through our darkest hours.”

Overtime, that purpose would be revealed.  In 2004, Andrea started Reece’s Rainbow to provide counseling and information to new families whose babies were born with Down Syndrome at her local hospital.  In 2006, the program expanded to promote the international adoption of children with Down Syndrome, and has since expanded to include many other children special needs including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, HIV and many other issues.

Reece’s Rainbow’s sponsorship program allows anonymous donors to contribute a tax-deductible donation to the adoptions of each one of the “colors” of Reece’s Rainbow.

Please visit Reece’s Rainbow’s website to view the many waiting children and find out more about this life saving ministry HERE.

You may also find the FAQ page HERE to be very informative.

From Reece’s Rainbow’s website:

From these humble beginnings, Reece's Rainbow has been powered by the grace of God and thousands of passionate advocates.  In only 5 years, we have found adoptive families for more than 800+ orphaned children with Down syndrome and other special needs around the world.   More than $1.5 million in grant funds have been disbursed to make those adoptions possible.   I can say with great confidence that if we had a full grant for every child on our website, there would BE no children on our website.  There are hundreds of families in the US and Canada who would give their left arm to bring one or more of these children home.  The money is the ONLY thing standing in their way.

Please, let’s not make money stand in the way of Sonny, Suzanne, Daphne and their forever families!  Please continue reading below to find out how you can help them and be entered to win amazing prizes!

THESE ARE THE RULES

Because Sonny is my Angel Tree babe, you can enter the giveaway by making a tax-deductible donation to his Reece’s Rainbow account. One donation of $5 will put your name in our giveaway! Entries $35 and over, and you will receive an adorable ornament with Sonny’s picture on it.

After that, if you feel led to help, please consider donating to Suzanne OR Daphne. By donating to these girls, you gain additional entries for the prizes, starting at $5 for each girl.

As an incentive for making additional donations, you will receive additional entries for every additional $5 donated to any of our children.

          • $5 = 1 entry
          • $10 = 2 entries
          • $20 = 4 entries
          • $50 = 10 entries
          • $500 = 100 entries
          • And so on…

You can also gain additional entries by sharing about our Giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or your own Blog. Just leave a comment on my blog to let me know you’ve shared.

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

  • Use the links below to go to the sites where these precious children are receiving donations. Follow the directions there to make your generous donations.
  • THEN, come back to this blog and leave a comment to let me know two things: (1) that you donated to Sonny, and (2) the total amount that you donated to ALL THREE of the children (if you chose to donate to more than one child).
  • If you prefer not to comment, you can email me at slwann@gmail.com.
  • ALL OF THESE DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.
  • The giveaway will end on December 15th and the winner will be announced on the 16th.
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to leave one in the comment section or email me at slwann@gmail.com.

Please use these links to make your donations.

Donate to Sonny.

sonny-before_thumb1sonny-after_thumb1

Donate to Suzanne.

50_thumb3

Donate to Daphne.

26cg_thumb1

THESE ARE OUR PRIZES!

16 GB iPad with Retina display – a $500 value!

two_ipads_sm_thumb[2]

Kitchen Aid 5-Quart Stand Mixer – a $430 value!

stand mixer_thumb[2]

You will be able to select the color of your choice – there are 25 options!

mixer_thumb[3]

A $150 gift to card to your choice between Best Buy, Pottery Barn or Home Depot!

best buy card_thumb[1]pottery barn gift card_thumb[6]

home-depot-gift-card-balance-check_thumb[6]

Please let me know if you have donated even if you don’t want the prizes! If you win and you don’t want the prize, you can choose to donate the equivalent cost of the prize to the child of your choice. BUT please feel free to keep the prizes if you win! Smile

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Angel Tree Kick-Off

Its Angel Tree time, which means that I have agreed to help an orphan with special needs raise AT LEAST $1000 towards their adoption before December 31st.  I hope to raise, much, much more than that!  Sonny needs at least $20,000 to be considered fully funded.

My orphan’s name is Sonny and I hope to get as much money for his adoption as I can. Precious Sonny needs a family… he is from Eastern Europe and he has been transferred to an adult mental institution. This means that he has a very real chance of dying well before he even reaches his next birthday.  I wish I could say that I am being dramatic, but I can promise you I am not.

Transfer for a child with Down Syndrome means going from this…

sonny before

To this.

sonny after

Sonny needs out.

Honestly, $1000 isn’t difficult for me.  I could easily donate $1000 to my precious orphan, but I can’t take the easy way out.   For starters, I believe in the saying “Many hands make light work.”  I could just give $1000 and keep silent, but if everyone gives just a little bit, together we can make such a difference in the life of these children.

Also, part of becoming an Angel Tree warrior means advocating for your child and spreading awareness. It’s a difficult and humbling experience, but Sonny is worth it!  I hope to answer many questions you may have over the next several weeks.

  • Why care about the orphan?
  • Why care about special needs orphans?
  • Why do these adoptions cost so much?
  • What is Reece’s Rainbow?
  • What else can you do to help?
  • And we will talk about many other topics related to adoption and the orphan crisis.

My greatest wish is that maybe through my advocating, Sonny might find a family!

But until that time, I will work to make sure that funding isn’t a problem for them when his family finally does come to claim their treasure!

If you help Sonny, you will be given the opportunity to win some fun prizes, possibly in time for Christmas!  I have also extended the giveaway to two very special little girls – one of them has been transferred like Sonny, and another is a much older child, who has little chance of being adopted if we don’t YELL as loud as we can for her!

THESE ARE THE RULES

Because Sonny is my Angel Tree babe, you can enter the giveaway by making a tax-deductible donation to his Reece’s Rainbow account.  One donation of $5 will put your name in our giveaway! Entries $35 and over, and you will receive an adorable ornament with Sonny’s picture on it.

After that, if you feel led to help, please consider donating to Suzanne OR Daphne.  By donating to these girls, you gain additional entries for the prizes, starting at $5 for each girl.

As an incentive for making additional donations, you will receive additional entries for every additional $5 donated to any of our children.

          • $5 = 1 entry
          • $10 = 2 entries
          • $20 = 4 entries
          • $50 = 10 entries
          • $500 = 100 entries
          • And so on…

You can also gain additional entries by sharing about our Giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or your own Blog.  Just leave a comment on my blog to let me know you’ve shared.

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

  • Use the links below to go to the sites where these precious children are receiving donations. Follow the directions there to make your generous donations.
  • THEN, come back to this blog and leave a comment to let me know two things: (1) that you donated to Sonny, and (2) the total amount that you donated to ALL THREE of the children (if you chose to donate to more than one child).
  • If you prefer not to comment, you can email me at slwann@gmail.com.
  • ALL OF THESE DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.
  • The giveaway will end on December 15th and the winner will be announced on the 16th.
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to leave one in the comment section or email me at slwann@gmail.com.

Please use these links to make your donations.

Donate to Sonny.

sonny beforesonny after

Donate to Suzanne.

50

Donate to Daphne.

26cg

THESE ARE OUR PRIZES!

16 GB iPad with Retina display – a $500 value!

two_ipads_sm

Kitchen Aid 5-Quart Stand Mixer – a $430 value!

stand mixer

You will be able to select the color of your choice – there are 25 options!

A $150 gift to card to your choice between Best Buy, Pottery Barn or Home Depot!

best buy cardpottery barn gift card

 

 

 

 

home-depot-gift-card-balance-check

Please let me know if you have donated even if you don’t want the prizes!  If you win and you don’t want the prize, you can choose to donate the equivalent cost of the prize to the child of your choice.  BUT please feel free to keep the prizes if you win! Smile

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Politics as usual…

This blog was originally started in part to discuss politics, although it has greatly derailed from that purpose in the past several years.  First – I became a mother, and I honestly cannot care for my child and follow politics.  I spend half the day muttering to myself about this politician or this piece of legislation, and I totally neglect Isla.  Secondly – we moved overseas.  We have no American news, often unreliable internet access, and I would prefer to spend the time that I do have online keeping in touch friends.  Third – I have realized that if I only have one voice, I’d rather use to yell for my Reece’s Rainbow kiddos, plain and simple.  My message should be clear, and not convoluted by something as divisive as politics. Last – there are people who are so much smarter than me that you can go to be informed, if you care to be informed and learn about conservatism from someone other than the liberal media.  Start with Thomas Sowell – you will not be disappointed! Truthfully though, I find most people don’t care to be informed.

Maybe one day I will get back in the game.  My political beliefs are fully formed, well thought out, and every single one of them is motivated by concern for people and their well being.  Period.  I am very proud to be conservative, and “compassionate conservatism” is a redundant phrase. Period.  I generally vote Republican, although that is not saying that the Republican candidate of choice is always my first choice or perfectly aligns with me ideologically.

But, a Presidential election is a big event.  And this is my blog. And I want to remember this so I am going to write about it, although I doubt it will become a regular thing again.

In the 2008 election, I wasn’t surprised when Barack Obama won, and I was very bitter and unhappy.  This time, I genuinely thought Mitt Romney would win, but I’m actually ok this time.  Probably because my faith has strengthened in the past four years (for other reasons, not remotely related to politics), and I trust the word of God and that He has given Barack Obama authority for this time.  I am still surprised though.

Four years ago we were coming off of 8 years of “Bush fatigue”, ironic to me because Bush gave his Democratic majority congress (House and Senate) every single thing they wanted his last two years in office, as long as they agreed to continue funding the Iraq war.  Its hilarious to me when Democrats talk about his failed policies, and I think “You mean the ones he gave you a carte blanche to implement?” Okay… John McCain was our Presidential nominee, who used to be every Democrat’s and media personality’s favorite Republican, until he ran against their demigod, but he did pick Sarah Palin as his running mate who many considered to be unfit and unready (not me BTW).  Again ironic when you consider that we’re only a bullet away from having Joe Biden as President. Yikes! And doubly ironic when you review Barack Obama’s slim resume before becoming PRESIDENT (not even VP!).  Four years ago, a friend described Barack Obama as an empty suit, which felt like an appropriate description to me – he looked good on the outside, but when you reviewed his history, his achievements, politically and actually non politically other than getting elected, were almost nonexistent.

But still, Barack Obama was NOT Republican, he was Black, which is pretty “sexy”, and he could read verbatim a teleprompter like nobody’s business!  So, I knew we were doomed to lose, and he did win.  But this time we had the past four years of his presidency to learn from, and I really thought that Romney would win, in spite of the ridiculous media bias towards Obama.

One thing I will never accuse Barack Obama of being is “do-nothing” President.  The dude did a lot, I mean he had a SUPERMAJORITY in the Senate and the House his first two years in office.  That’s unprecedented; he could and did do everything, and I mean everything a liberal ideologue ever dreamed of doing. Let’s review a few of them…

  • He passed that HUGE stimulus bill, not only did he get to fund many “green” companies that of course subsequently went bankrupt (any good entrepreneur knows you’ve got to be green and hungry to survive, not to mention competent), but he managed to undo all of the Welfare reform legislation passed in 1996 under Clinton and Gingrich… because we all know there is no sweeter sight to Democrats than a child growing up in abject generational poverty and welfare dependence – how else would Democrats continue to increase that ever important voting block, am I right?
  • He managed to bailout GM and Chrysler and give the Unions who destroyed them 17% and 65% ownership respectively – yay for political payback! Those $500 million donated to Democratic politicians in the ‘08 election cycle were well spent, my friends. Too bad about the private investors who lost their retirements and pension funds, guess they just haven’t learned where to best spend their election donations…
  • He passed the famous Obamacare – of course it was nothing but 2000 pages of cobbled together special interest requests, which no one but Tea Partiers even read and did not even remotely resemble comprehensive medical reform, but hey – he did manage to nationalize student loans.  Somehow that is related to health care, but the details on how are a little fuzzy to me…

Bengazi, his drone wars… truly I could go on, but its exhausting, and I’m also surprised at how little I care.  Like I said, I’m fine with it, and people will continue to believe that the Republicans are going to take away their “right” to birth control and leave our elderly without healthcare and eating dog food (I’m pretty sure it was Bush who expanded public health care’s access to prescription drugs, right?) or remove their “right” to murder their unborn children (I refuse to call it anything else) or that Republicans want to pollute the earth (ugh, sure because we’re all horrible laissez faire capitalists)... 

Although Romney wasn’t my first choice (that would have been Herman Caine), in my living memory, I can’t remember ever having a candidate that had such an impressive business record.  I really wanted to see how that played out in reviving our economy and cutting government waste.  You don’t run a successful company or pull the freakin’ Olympics out of the red without knowing when to cut your losses and make difficult decisions. In contrast, I don’t understand how all of these career politicians end up so rich! I can kind of understand if they inherited their money, like the Kennedys or the Bushes, but how did Harry Reid, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Al Gore… the list goes on get so rich? Especially since, you know, they love to remind us that they are just lowly public servants and all…

I thought Romney’s past as the Governor of Massachusetts, a blue mecca and home to the Kennedys, was very intriguing… how would that have played out in Washington? I thought that he probably would have done an excellent job of leading both the left and right, working to unite them, and also keeping things civil… in contrast, there’s Obama, who even though he had that supermajority we talked about for two years, still blamed the Republicans every time he didn’t get his way! On that note, I feel the need to share this, its from my cousin’s FB page;  he is a retired Army Colonel and he makes an excellent point:

I listened again to the President's speech from last night. It was an eloquent plea for all of us to come together as a country and to work for the good of all Americans. It was well written, beautifully delivered, and punctuated with pathos. Unfortunately it came after more than a year of the following comments by the President and his surrogates about Republicans in general and Mitt Romney in

particular. The Presidents words are in quotation marks (and red)…..
Racist
“They want dirty water and dirty air.”
Racist
Tax Cheat
Racist
Vampire
Racist
Vulture
“Bullshitter”
Murderer
Racist
Felon
Hate Monger
“They practice the politics of hate.”
“Punish you enemies (Republicans) and reward your friends.”
Racist
Homophobe
Racist
Liar
Racist
Sexist
Racist
Cheaters
Outsourcers
Racist
Granny Killers
“They want the elderly to scrounge for their next meal.”
“Frauds”

Steal the election
They want people to get sick and to die.
He hates dogs.
“Deceiver”
“They lack character”
“Vote for revenge.”

Racist
These are just a few of the notes I made during the election. You don’t run that kind of campaign and just expect everything will be forgiven and forgotten. The President will reach out and encourage us all to come together because he has no other choice. He doesn’t have the mandate he had in 2008. Whether the outreach is real or not remains to be seen. If it is real I urge Republicans to work with him. Trust but verify. But if it is a sham as it was in his first 4 years where he arrogantly dismissed any input from Republicans, because he had an overwhelming majority in the House and the Senate for two years, then I urge Republicans to stand fast. If they do not stand fast there are a large number of us who will be looking for a new party.

This post is getting long – but I have to add this one thing.  I personally think that “one issue voter” is synonymous with “idiot”, its just an excuse to stay ignorant, but if I were to ever, ever become a “one issue voter” it would be for a candidate whose main message was “GETTING RID OF OUR DEBT”.  I am not kidding, I might even vote for a Democrat.  I wouldn’t even mind if taxes were raised, as long as they accompanied a HUGE cut in government spending.  As you can see from some of my bullet points above, the legislative and executive branches of the government seem incapable of running a simple cost-benefit analysis, lack of taxing is not our problem, its our spending.

This graph terrifies me, and everyone’s to blame.

US-national-debt-GDP

Anyway, these are just some things have been running through my mind the past 48 hours. I hope that Republicans continue to respectfully disagree with our current President whenever they feel compelled to, and I hope that President Obama can change the negative tone that we have heard from him the past four years. I cannot for the life of me understand what it is about Obama that people found so appealing on November 6th, and what was so disagreeable about Romney… but eh, whatever, I’m over it – we’ll just have to see how the next four years unfold.

Anyway… signing off!

Pure and Undefiled Religion

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